Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

L EARNER VOICE IN VET & ACE: W HAT DO STAKEHOLDERS SAY ? Barry Golding and Annette Foley University of Ballarat 1.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "L EARNER VOICE IN VET & ACE: W HAT DO STAKEHOLDERS SAY ? Barry Golding and Annette Foley University of Ballarat 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 L EARNER VOICE IN VET & ACE: W HAT DO STAKEHOLDERS SAY ? Barry Golding and Annette Foley University of Ballarat 1

2 T HE PROJECT Our paper presents some initial findings from research funded by the national VET Equity Advisory Council (NVEAC) and conducted in a range of VET and ACE organisations in three Australian states and the Northern Territory with a view to identifying the mechanisms and systems used to capture learner voice. The paper also draws upon recent research in the UK and Europe that has provided critical insights into the benefits to learners experiences and successes that result from taking learner voice seriously in the Further Education (FE) setting. 2

3 O UR V IEW... Learner voice and learner input in the promotion of students own learning has the potential to empower learners and transform their learning experience. A greater emphasis on genuine engagement of students could also potentially transform Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Adult Community Education (ACE) systems, and, in turn, workplaces and communities. 3

4 C ONTEXT Our paper is based on early findings from interviews and consultations with a range of stakeholders (teachers, trainers, managers, funding bodies), involved in the organisation and delivery of VET and ACE within Australia. We asked them particularly about Learner Voice regulatory frameworks and provider accountability for acting on feedback from learners, particularly disadvantaged learners. 4

5 D ATA AND L ITERATURE The data are taken from a wider research project that includes similar interviews in Europe, and a critical analysis of the current obligations, processes and mechanisms for gathering and acting on feedback from learners, particularly disadvantaged learners in VET and ACE. The wider project also involved a critical review of the relevant Australian and international literature that has advocated ways of optimising the VET and ACE experience for disadvantaged learners. 5

6 M ETHOD Made use of interviews using open ended questions The interviews about Learner Voice regulatory frameworks focused on provider accountability for acting on feedback from learners, particularly from disadvantaged learners. The main, open-ended questions were: 1. How do you (managers, teachers, trainers, curriculum designers, policy makers, student representatives, employers) collect information from enrolled students and graduates about their experiences or attitudes to learning, and when?, 2. How do you analyse, summarize and feedback that evidence to learners and other stakeholders (teachers, trainers, managers, funding bodies)? and 3. What are your understandings about the regulatory framework for collecting information about student experience of teaching and learning? 6

7 Q UESTIONS Given the projects focus on disadvantaged learners in VET, other questions included: What account do you take of the diversity of student experience for students who may be disadvantaged in any way in the learning context (e.g. by disability, ethnicity, language, literacy, location? Questions about theoretical views of learner voice were included: What do you understand by learner voice and learner feedback? and Which aspects of both do you regard as being: 1. most effective, and 2. most in need of improvement (in Australia, this state/territory, this provider, for particular student groups)? Finally - What mechanisms do you use to hear from and give feedback to learners who leave before they finish their course? and What do you do to identify potential learners who for whatever reason do not enrol? The interviews were fully transcribed. 7

8 I NTERVIEWEES 1 Interviewees were very diverse. They included Disability Services Officers and representatives, Equity Services Coordinators, Indigenous VET Managers, Student Liaison Officers, Directors of VET Programs, VET students, teachers, researchers and trainers. 8

9 I NTERVIEWEES 2 They also included Government VET Policy, Strategy and Program Officers, Government VET Contract and Performance Managers, Private Provider and Community Centre Managers, VET and ACE Directors and Managers, Apprenticeship Coordinators, Industry representatives, University Academics and Postgraduate researchers as well as people with research and reporting roles at NCVER (National Centre for Vocational Education Research). A limitation to this research is that the interviewees did not include VET learners. 9

10 D ISCUSSION In general there was a poor understanding amongst interviewees of either learner voice or, particularly, learner feedback, either theoretically or practically other than at a classroom, workshop or workplace level. There was a widespread perception that, in the competitive training market, learner voice is rarely sought or heard other than by their feet; that is, when people stop coming to programs. As one VET academic put this view, there is little thought or consideration to really, genuinely give voice. … Its a low order priority. I dont think much is done at all. Learner voice and feedback in VET and ACE, on the evidence of a substantial number of Australian interviews, appears to be particularly poorly implemented at institutional, course, or faculty level. 10

11 F INDINGS & C ONCLUSIONS Students are rarely consulted or included on Committees or Boards, and, when they are, it is typically only one representative with little effective voice or mechanisms to hear, consult with, or feed back to the student body. Learner voice, though weak, was regarded by most interviewees as being most effective at the classroom and workshop level, and to be more active and better developed within ACE provider contexts than in VET. While some disability organisations are relatively highly organized and networked to advocate for learner voice on a number of levels, including nationally, the extent to which learner voice is actually expressed by people with a disability is much less clear. On the basis of the evidence, it seems fair to conclude that students in general, including disadvantaged students and those with disabilities, are rarely consulted or heard. 11

12 CONCLUSIONS There is almost no evidence that the voices of the high proportion of people who have left VET courses without completing is sought or heard at all. There is also evidence that learner voice is seldom heard by industry training bodies. A large amount of quantitative data is collected by survey at the commencement and completion of courses mainly for national, state and institutional regulatory purposes. These data, that might help inform learner voice, are seldom analysed and very rarely returned in a timely way to the teachers or learners. If the data are eventually returned, it is seldom in a form that is useful or effective to improve either teaching strategies or course development, or to feed back to the students who supplied it. 12

13 T HOSE WHO DON T PARTICIPATE … Although there is a general lack of evidence throughout the VET system about people who leave before completing, there is even less evidence about, or effort to identify, who is not participating at all in VET programs. One industry manager said: I dont think at the moment that anyone is asking questions of people who dont participate. I think its extremely important to ask. 13

14 T HOSE NOT ON THE VET RADAR The perceived lack of research to identify people who are not accessing and purchasing VET services was regarded as a huge failing of the VET system by many interviewees. One ACE manager noted: Its just a common sense approach rather than asking people who [already] have lots of access to education how much they value the education. I would be much more interested in looking at parts of Australia and particular cohorts who have really limited access and talk to them about whether there are barriers to their participation or whether the research doesnt suit them or the offerings dont suit their particular needs. 14

15 O VERALL C ONCLUSIONS Our research so far leads us to make the following, tentative conclusions. Learner voice and feedback depend, for students in a VET context, on what are defined as the purposes of vocational education and training. Learner voice also depends on the extent to which the learner is recognized as an active participant in the teaching and learning process. It is also affected by the context in which learning takes place, including the national, cultural, geographic, policy, regulatory and institutional environments. Particularly in the case of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, whether learner voice is heard (or not) also depends on the capability of diverse learners to actively respond when consulted. 15

16 L EARNER V OICE D EPENDS ON … We also conclude, consistent with Potters (2011) conceptualisation of learners, that the nature and quality of learner voice depends on the rationales and mechanisms for valuing voice and feedback. who seeks learner voice, who provides the feedback, and the mechanisms used to seek it. 16

17 L EARNER V OICE & VET Above all, learner voice in VET is seen to be associated with presuppositions about how students are located within a VET context. For example, at the two extremes of dependency, are they participants with agency or are they dependent, fee-paying customers with no say at all in their own education and training? Learner voice has presumably become more important recently, but more difficult to hear and respond to as many national governments move towards client and customer models of provision, which can dis-empower students. 17

18 W E ANTICIPATE … … that the advantages for learners of the education and training system taking their voices seriously, may not be the same as the advantages anticipated by government and providers....But this is a topic for another paper. 18

Download ppt "L EARNER VOICE IN VET & ACE: W HAT DO STAKEHOLDERS SAY ? Barry Golding and Annette Foley University of Ballarat 1."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google